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Poole Faculty Member Elected to Academy Leadership Role

Bradley Kirkman named to leadership track for the Organizational Behavior Division of the Academy of Management

Bradley Kirkman, General (Ret.) H. Hugh Shelton Distinguished Professor, is among the Poole College faculty teaching Jenkins MBA students.
Bradley Kirkman, General (Ret.) H. Hugh Shelton Distinguished Professor, is among the Poole College faculty teaching Jenkins MBA students.

By: Caroline Barnhill

Professional academies like the Academy of Management (AOM) play a critical role in providing researchers and educators with connections to their peers in order to network, share and get feedback on their latest research and collaborate. Bradley Kirkman, General (Ret.) H. Hugh Shelton Distinguished Professor of Leadership at the Poole College of Management, has benefited from his membership in the AOM for nearly thirty years.

“I joined the academy as a Ph.D. student and credit the organization with providing me with valuable opportunities to connect with researchers and faculty members around the world who focus on similar research areas that I’m interested in,” Kirkman says. “When you’re fresh into the field of academia and not quite sure of how it all works and fits together, the academy does a great job of explaining the research process and getting you connected to like-minded peers.”

In May, Kirkman was elected by his AOM peers to serve on a five-year leadership track for the organization’s Organizational Behavior Division (OBD), after serving as its chief operating officer for the past five years. The OBD focuses on management research, including such areas as leadership, motivation, teamwork, communication and decision making. He will be joining the leadership team of the division just as it celebrates its 50th year of existence in 2021.

As part of his new position, Kirkman will play a different leadership role within the division each year. For instance, in year one as incoming program chair, he will be responsible for handling the AOM OBD’s annual conference symposia submissions and acceptances, and in year four as division chair, Kirkman will serve as the division’s top strategic leader and will chair the AOM’s business meeting and awards celebration.

Kirkman is the second Poole faculty member recently elected to a leadership position within AOM. In 2020, Jon Carr, Jenkins Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship and head of Poole College’s Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Department, was named to the same position within AOM’s Entrepreneurship division. Other Poole College faculty members also play critical leadership roles within professional organizations. Jeff Pollack, associate professor of entrepreneurship, serves as a representative-at-large of AOM’s Entrepreneurship division, while Elena Kulchina, associate professor of strategic management, serves as associate program chair of Strategic Management Society’s Entrepreneurship and Strategy Interest Group.

“The election of Brad serves as an outstanding opportunity for him to continue his long service to the Organizational Behavior Division. His research and professional service provide incredible visibility to our department and the Poole College of Management,” Carr says. “We are extremely proud to have him as our colleague and see his election as further proof of the impact that our faculty have with this important global organization.”

These leadership positions allow Poole faculty members to lend their expertise to not only serve their fellow members, but also the larger field of management. Kirkman hopes that in his role with the OBD, he’ll help the academy better translate their research into formats that will more effectively reach practitioners.

“Within the AOM’s Organizational Behavior Division, we have an incredible amount of knowledge and research that goes into journals that may only be read by other academics,” Kirkman says. “While that is important, I’d like to see us find new vehicles for disseminating that information and turning academic papers into shorter, more digestible pieces that allow those working in the field to apply it in the real world.”

In addition to reaching more practitioners, Kirkman also plans to increase the academy’s international membership, while also helping those members feel more plugged in within the organization.

“Even though the AOM was founded and is based in North America, we have members all over the world,” he says. “While historically our time to connect with one another was during the AOM annual conference, COVID showed us how we can use online platforms like Zoom to ‘gather’ together between the annual meetings. I hope to create more events – like panel discussions – throughout the year to add even more value to AOM membership.”